Friday, April 18, 2008

Arggggh! Laptop recovery

I have only had 1 successful virus attack against me after near on 20 years of computing, where it actually took me 2 days to get rid of a rootkit. So I consider myself pretty savvi when it comes to keeping a PC going.. Last week my Toshiba laptop finally lost some kernel drivers and would not boot, so before I slaved the drive (which is difficult to do since it's not normal SATA) to my Man desktop and rescue it, I let the manufacturer rescue-disk run. Arghhhh, the rescue-disk is an automated formatter, which right-away ghosts your machine without even prompting. Unfortunately I had no way of knowing until the Norton-ghost on the boot-CD started to run already. IMHO, this is better than a virus, because 30 minutes latter with no intervention at all I had a brand new Laptop setup. Toshiba need a lesson (so do I) - anyway - nothing much lost in that 'upgrade' so it's birthdays as usual tomorrow.

Rhys and Greg both have a party over the weekend. Cake photies to follow.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

LAMP or Socket?

Been playing with an Ubuntu distro lately to start setting up a LAMP to host the domain where I keep my modbus protocol simulator program. My current gripe is that Linux is not overly difficult to learn, is nice and cheap, but just takes time. This is just much more fun than work at the moment, so I am rushing home in the evening to find all the FAQ and a HOW-TOs that all the apache dummies like me can follow. Once I can write some PHP to talk to the SQL-DB, I will effectively have some live website content to publish and maybe have a live "TODO" page that shows people what bugs are being reported, fixed and what features are being added.

A great fan of the self-learnt-man, this exercise generally takes time.
Now all I need to work out is how to get this thing to print out edible choc eclaires.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Peak District Holiday over

So what is it like going away for 6 nights on £350 self-catering? If you are not in the peak-season, you can (pun-intended) because everything opens at end of march, and although the weather is well, 'English'; you can see most everything. The boys had a good time, we say Chatsworth house, some ruins above Castleton, the 'Blue-John' caves nearby. A cable-car ride up Heights of Abraham, and a visit to the lead-mine on top of that hill.
The cable-car is not huge by Cape-Town standards, even the trip up lions-head in the new proposed cable-car is longer, but the green countryside is awesome, and you get slung over a river, complete with canoists doing a slalom. If only it was not sleeting.

If only? well, if only it did no pay to lie and manipulate. I enjoy a bit of manipulate and lie myself, but twisting the truth is all good, while subverting a national election for Zimbabwean president is another matter altogether. I tire of this problem now, and am amazed how it fills the english media at the moment - probably just unlucky to be at a time when the most interresting things for papers to publish is about one of the royals catching a serious bout of flu. I actually tire of the media and the total lack of depth that comes about when you get stuck in 'PC' land and are too lazy to publish more than one side of the story. I mean what happened to opinion? New rules mean we cannot publish 'opinions' just-so anymore and have no idea how to interpret what goes on around us. I am not saying please tel me how to read, on the contrary, please tell me how I could read this story, and for Pete's sake come back 2 weeks latter and finnish the job. I am too often left wondering what hapenned to that fellow who was on the front-page last week, did he become nobody, or is the contents of someones gut suddenly more important?

Is there life? or is it only intelligent life?